Ready Or Not

Ready or not, here it comes! Christmas often creeps up before we are ready. Every Christmas, I get the feeling that I have forgotten something or someone. I am a list maker and I go over and over the many lists of things to do. There is a list of food for Christmas breakfast, a list for Christmas Day dinner, a list of gifts with appropriate red checks as I muddle through the list, to name a few. In fact, there are so many lists, I have trouble keeping up with them. But, my lists are what keep me sane during Christmas.

Every year, even with my lists, I still feel the dread of something forgotten. If it was something for the breakfast or dinner table, I could forgive myself and life would go on. If it was something I had intended to take to the Christmas Eve celebration, I could plead “a senior or blond moment”, and all would still be well. But, to forget a gift for someone… that would be unforgivable. So, I live with Christmas anxiety.

There was a year that I did, indeed, forget a gift. My son was about eleven when the dreaded happened. My Mother-in-Law always gave me thirty dollars to buy him a gift, and each year his grandparents seemed to know exactly what he wanted and delivered appropriately. On this Christmas Day, we prepared to go to my in-laws for lunch. I gathered the gifts from under the tree as usual to take with us, again with the dreaded feeling of something being wrong. I counted the gifts and even though they were correct in numbers, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. I confided this to my daughter, who quickly surveyed the gifts and said, “Where is my brother’s gift from grandma and grandpa”? In complete panic, I now knew who I had forgotten, now the question was what to do about it? I didn’t want to disappoint my son, but no store was open and he had already unwrapped all of his gifts from his dad and me. Seeing my panic, my precious daughter came to me with a gift in hand, wrapped and all. She said, “Give him this, I can get another one before my boyfriend gets in from out of town. I was saved, and an eleven year old boy was overjoyed with the eel skin wallet he opened from his grandparents. My Mother-in-Law could not believe I could get such a fine man’s wallet for thirty dollars. I said only that I had run into a great one-day sale. I revealed nothing more. My daughter and I just smiled at each other.

Merry Christmas… and check your gift list… you never know!

Source: K.P. Guessen